COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period for Health Insurance

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) have opened a COVID-19 Special enrollment Period (SEP) that will be open until August 15, 2021. You can visit to enroll. Anyone without insurance has access to coverage regardless of your circumstances. No documentation is required and coverage will begin the next month after enrollment.

Visit this page to see if you qualify for Marketplace savings. When applying for Marketplace coverage you’ll find out if you qualify for a premium tax credit that will lower your monthly premium depending on your estimated household income for 2021. This tool will help you preview 2021 plans and estimated prices depending on your location, age, and household income. 

Once you sign up for health insurance, you can begin making the most of your coverage:

  1. Pay your premium every month, even if you don’t use your insurance.
  2. Keep your insurance card with you at all times and read through your Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC).
    1. You will need the I.D. number on your card when you go to the doctor’s office, medical testing lab, drug store or pharmacy, and hospital.
    2. The SBC will answer important questions you have; like how much will I pay for a doctor’s visit? Which services are covered and which ones are not?
  3. Choose a Primary Care Provider who takes your insurance.
    1. Find a doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner that you feel comfortable with and make sure they are “in network” with your healthcare plan.
      1. If you choose a doctor who is “out of network” you may have to pay more, or all, of the bill by yourself.
    2. If you need help finding a doctor, call your insurance company at the number on your insurance card.
  4. Schedule a yearly checkup with your Primary Care Provider.
    1. Your plan will cover the full cost of a yearly visit!
    2. Preventative care like this will help keep you healthy, and save you money.
  5. Report changes in your household that affect your health insurance or how much financial help you get to help pay your monthly premiums.
    1. Changes include: Having a baby, getting married, a permanent move, etc.
    2. You need to report changes to the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 within 60 days of when they happen.

Save money on health care by knowing where to go:

Primary Care Provider 

  • Cost is dependent on the treatment you get
  • Use when you need routine care like a yearly physical, checkup, or care for a sickness that is not emergent

Urgent Care Center – OSF PromptCare, OSF OnCall Urgent Care, UnityPoint Clinic, Family Quick Care

  • Cost is dependent on the treatment you get
  • Use when you need care that is not emergent, but you cannot wait for an appointment with your PCP. Examples are sprains, minor cuts, or back pain.

Emergency Room (ER)

  • Most expensive option
  • Use when you need immediate care for a life threatening problem such as trouble breathing, severe burns, or heavy bleeding. 

If you have questions:

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